Current LLL-smtx Courses

The fees we set provide honoraria for our presenters or for the  support of the non-profits to which they belong.


To Register for Courses Held at the SAN MARCOS ACTIVITY CENTER

You have three choices:
1.  Online: --> click on "Activities"-->"See All
                   Categories"-->"Senior"-->takes you to registration
2.  Physically at the San Marcos Activity Center or
3.  Calling    512-393-8280

For more information: EMAIL MARIANNE at or call her @ 512.216.6427

For future offerings, if you have a topic you would like to see explored or have a topic you would like to present, please contact Marianne at 512-216-6427 or at




                                                        Courses for July-August 2021


Course 1: TEXAS LITERATURE BOOK CLUB  Continues!             NO FEE
You are welcome to join the “CLUB” at any time.  Just contact Jo Snider at

When:    Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:00 pm  
Where:  ZOOM @ Homei

Course Description

We will read old, new, fiction and non-fiction works by Texas authors.  Jo Snider will share background information on each of the authors as well as weave in “historical tidbits” as we discuss the various books read. 

June 16th–6:30 to 8:00              J. Frank Dobie, Coronado’s Children 
Written in 1930 this book was actually Dobie’s second book and the one that gave him a reputation and set him on a long and prosperous career. Dobie dominated Texas literature during the middle part of the 20th century. Coronado’s Children deals with treasure hunting for gold in the Southwest, especially Texas. Coronado (if you can recall your middle school Texas History class ) was the Spanish explorer that hunted in vain for the Seven Cities of Gold.
July 14th–6:30 to 8:00               James L. Haley, Sam Houston
I blundered across this the other night and decided it is a must read. It is so readable I don’t want to do anything else and brings up facts about Houston I never knew. Haley has written both fiction and non-fiction but this 15 year project in historical biography has to be his best. I had never heard of him to my regret. He was born in Oklahoma and OK Press published this book, much to my chagrin. But he grew up in Ft. Wt., UT Arlington and UT Law School. He writes narrative history like it ought to be written. This is long but you will not care.
August 11th–6:30-8:00                   Gary Cartwright, Blood Will Tell
The lurid story of murder among the Texas big rich. The story of Cullen Davis for the shooting of Priscilla Davis and murder of her lover and daughter in Fort Worth in the 1970s. This focuses on the trial, the lawyers and Amarillo where the trial occurred. I’m not entirely sure of the math here, but there has to be some equation of how much money you have to have to get away with one murder, two murders, three murders and so on. Davis got away with two so that puts him in the higher wealth bracket for sure. 

September 8, October 13, and November 10: to be selected.

About the Provocateur:  Jo Snider 

Jo is a retired faculty member from the Department of History. She specialized in teaching the introductory courses in the theater setting. Which basically means she knows a lot about a lot of things. For her BA Jo had a double major in History and English and an English minor on the MA level. Since her focus has been Texas and the Old South a book club on Texas authors seemed a natural. Hope you will join us for some fun, entertainment and enlightenment from the Texas literati.

Course 2.     Ink and Watercolor: People, Places and Things


WHEN:              5-Wednesdays: July 7, 14, 21, 28 and Aug 4
WHERE:            San Marcos Rec Hall (located by Lions Club tubing) —allows for social distancing
TIME:                9:00 to11:30AM                                                                                                                                                FEE:                   $50.00

Course Description    

In this course, you will build lively drawings with ink, watercolor and touches of gouache. Explore various techniques for building imagery with qualities of line, graded and layered washes and the expressive use of color.  Learn to simplify visual information, interpret values, mix colors, imply texture and embrace a spontaneous approach.



Brushes: Watercolor brushes: synthetic or sable in various round sizes #4, #6, #12,  #18 for example. Bring a Quill Mop brush if you have one. (These are expensive, but they hold a LOT of water.)

Paper:  Watercolor paper: 9x12 watercolor tablet (either hot or cold press)

Watercolors: Either tube or pan colors: Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean blue, burnt umber, burnt sienna, raw sienna, Cadmium red hue, Cadmium yellow hue, yellow ochre, Lemon yellow, Cobalt blue hue, Paynes Gray, Winsor Violet, Perylene Green; Titanium White GOUACHE small tube (also called Permanent white)

Other Supplies :                                                                                                                                                 

Hard board on which to tape your paper; Black Fine liner pens: buy a set or get a 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 (Sakura, Staedtler, Pilot, or other); Brush Pen: black; pencil HB or 2B; kneaded eraser; sharpener; painters’ tape or Washi tape; water jar; paper towels; mixing tray/palette with multiple wells

About Your Presenter:  Roxana (Roxy) Tuff                                                                                          

Roxy is a metalsmith and illustrator who holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing and a MFA in Painting. She is an outstanding instructor having taught in the art studio area at Texas State for 14 years and for Life-Long Learning for 6 years. 


Course 3.     Photography 101 (Using a Cell Phone Camera)

WHEN:              4-Tuesdays: July 20, 27 and Aug 3, 10
WHERE:            San Marcos Activity Center/Multi-Purpose Room...allows for social distancing
TIME:                10:00 to 11:30 AM                                                                                                    

FEE:                   $25.00

Course Description                                                                                                                                  

 Have you ever wished you could take better pictures to document a special event, capture the perfect expression on your loved one’s face, or document the world around you to use the photographs for art projects, scrapbooking, of quilting?

Photography 101 (Using a Cell Phone Camera) will teach you how to “see” and photograph like a professional photographer. People, not cameras, take pictures, so this course shows you how to take excellent photographs using a simple cell phone camera (without fancy gadgets, attachments, or digital software). The course also highlights suggestions on how to use your fabulous photographs. We will cover the following content:                                                   Week 1: Learn how to “see” like a professional photographer. This opening session includes composition, light, and design through a (cell phone) camera lens. Learn how to frame the perfect image, look for good light, work with “bad light” when there is no other option, and design the image by using creative camera angles to generate interesting perspectives.                                                                                                             

Week 2: Viewing life through the lens of a (cell phone) camera to “see” and compose environmental or landscape photographs, “still photography” like food or floral presentations, and architectural photography to highlight interesting elements of a home or public building.

Week 3: People pictures using natural light, including formal portraits, candid pictures, and photojournalism- style photographs.

Week 4: Documentary photography to record a special event, activity, or trip from A to Z. This session is applicable to weddings, vacations, family reunions, special event   celebrations like a landmark birthday or graduation.

About Your Instructor: Helen T. Boursier                                                                                                             

Helen owned a portrait photography studio on Cape Cod, Massachusetts for 25 years with her spouse, prior to relocating to New Braunfels for Helen to enter seminary, become an ordained Presbyterian minister, and later shift to academics where she teaches theology and religious studies (online) at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Helen also has been a volunteer chaplain since 2014 with refugee families seeking asylum in the U.S. Helen has published the following books: Art As Witness: A Practical Theology of Arts-Based Research; Desperately Seeking Asylum: Testimonies of Trauma, Courage and Love; The Ethics of Hospitality: an Interfaith Response to US Immigration Policies; and she is the editor of The Rowman and Littleton Handbook of Women’s Studies in Religion (available at

During the portrait photography years, Helen wrote a dozen books on photography (Photographing Children in Black & White: Boursier, Helen T: 9781584280149: Books) and spoke at professional photography conferences across the U.S. and in several countries. She now uses her photography to illustrate her academic books and as the basis for her mixed media artwork, which she uses as illustrations in her books and public speaking on immigration.



Course 4.    Beginning Quilting   


WHEN: 8-Fridays: July 9, 16, 23, 30 and Aug 6, 13, 27*, and Sept. 3

*Sept. 20 is unavailable
WHERE:  San Marcos Activity Center-- allows for social distancing
TIME:        9:30 to 11:00 AM                                                                                                                                          

FEE:         $50.00

Course Description                                                                                                                                      

We will construct a quilt suitable as a small wall hanging learning the basics of sewing as it applies to quilting such as using your sewing machine, cutting fabric with a rotary cutter and measuring fabric using a clear quilting ruler.

In the first class, prior to your purchasing your fabric, we will discuss how to choose fabrics appropriate to the block design with emphasis on pattern, color, contrast, blend, coordinating or random colors.


              + Sewing Machine (required):  small machines are available for under $100 and $50 on Amazon.  [We will discuss sewing machines during the first class.]

              + 1.5 or 2 inch straight pins (flower head best) (Required)                                            

              + Small sharp scissors; extra bobbin for sewing machine; thread to match or blend with fabrics

              + *Cutting mat (not Cricut) *Rotary cutter, 45mm preferred *Clear quilting ruler

               [* Sharon will have these three items above available for use in your class. However, if you want to purchase these items, Joann Fabrics has all three for $59 and they usually have coupons on their website.]


About Your Instructor: Sharon Blancarte

Sharon has been sewing since she was 6 years old primarily making clothing and crafts until 15 years ago. At this time she began to quilt and has made almost 100 quilts given as gifts and others sold including custom-made ones.  The love of color and the limitless patterns continue to inspire and excite her.